Parents —don’t let your kids grow up financially illiterate! From coast-to-coast, Canadian students receive limited financial literacy training through grade school. Basic financial life-lessons, like budgeting and investing, are left up to parents.
Even if you feel like your money skills aren’t sharp, don’t shy away from tackling this subject with your kids. They’ll benefit from your real world knowledge and hopefully you’ll feel extra motivated to make good financial decisions your children can look up to.
Start talking to your kids about money as soon as possible. If you’re headed to the bank or ATM, bring them with you and describe what you’re doing. If you pay with a credit card versus cash, explain the difference between the two methods of payment. While grocery shopping, assign Junior the task of reading and reporting back to you the prices of produce. If you buy your child a new backpack and sneakers for $100, tell them how many hours you had to work to make that purchase.
Play games such as Monopoly or Cash Flow. Each focuses on money issues like cash management, real estate and getting a job. Give your kids a small allowance and coach them on how to budget their money.
Buy your child stock in a company they think is cool like Google. Then, track the performance of the stock online using the portfolio tracking tool on Yahoo! Finance. You can also visit getsmarteraboutmoney.ca for more resources.